The Tsuruga 1 nuclear power reactor will continue operating until 2016, six years beyond its originally scheduled shutdown, Japan Atomic Power Co (Japco) announced. The extension is due to delays in the construction of two new units at the site.
|Six more years for Tsuruga 1 (Image: Japco)
In February, Japco announced its decision to delay the closure of Tsuruga 1 from 2010 when operations at unit 3 and 4 were originally scheduled to begin. At that time it had not decided when the unit would stop operating.
Japco had earlier submitted an assessment report with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Meti) that shows the 357 MWe boiling water reactor (BWR), which began operating in March 1970, can be safely operated beyond 2010. The company made an amendment on its application to Meti for its long-term maintenance plan for the reactor.
On 19 August, the minister of the economy, trade and industry approved the amendment, which would allow the plant to continue operating. Japco has now said that it plans to continue operating Tsuruga 1 until 2016, when unit 3 is scheduled to be commissioned.
At the end of 2006, Japco announced that construction of the Tsuruga 3 and 4 reactors had been delayed by two years due a revision in construction regulations following the government's new earthquake resistance guidelines. Construction of the two 1538 MWe advanced pressurized water reactors (APWRs) is now set to begin in October 2010, with commercial operation of unit 3 set to start in March 2016 and unit 4 in March 2017.
Unit 2 at the Tsuruga plant is an 1115 MWe PWR that began operating in February 1987.